U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights

New Level of CO2 Set in 2010
Published: December 04, 2011
Posted: January 12, 2012

A recent report in Nature Climate Change shows that global fossil-fuel CO2 emissions in 2010 surpassed 9 petagrams of carbon (Pg C) for the first time, more than offsetting the 1.4% decrease in 2009 attributed to the 2008 worldwide financial crisis. The research, supported by DOE's Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, shows that the impact of the 2008-2009 global financial crisis on emissions was short lived due to strong emissions growth in emerging economies, a return to emissions growth in developed economies, and an increase in the fossil-fuel intensity of the world economy following the crisis. The 2010 growth was due primarily to high growth rates in a few key emerging economies namely China (10.4%, 0.212 Pg C) and India (9.4%, 0.049 Pg C). This is the latest CDIAC annual report of time series estimating releases of carbon from fossil-fuel use and cement production on global and national scales. These data quantify the major anthropogenic sources of carbon in the global carbon cycle budget and support research to understand national trends in fossil-fuel CO2 emissions. CDIAC produces gridded products needed for modeling activities (e.g., Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report) and provides benchmark data for mitigation efforts and policy discussions.

Reference: Peters, G. P., G. Marland, C. LeQuéré, T. Boden, J. G. Canadell, and M. R. Raupach. 2012. "Rapid Growth in CO2 Emissions After the 2008-2009 Global Financial Crisis," Nature Climate Change 2, 2-4. DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1332. (Reference link)

Contact: Wanda Ferrell, SC-23.1, (301) 903-0043
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Atmospheric System Research
  • Research Area: Earth and Environment Systems Data Management

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER


BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

Aug 24, 2019
New Approach for Studying How Microbes Influence Their Environment
A diverse group of scientists suggests a common framework and targeting of known microbial processes [more...]

Aug 08, 2019
Nutrient-Hungry Peatland Microbes Reduce Carbon Loss Under Warmer Conditions
Enzyme production in peatlands reduces carbon lost to respiration under future high temperatures. [more...]

Aug 05, 2019
Amazon Forest Response to CO2 Fertilization Dependent on Plant Phosphorus Acquisition
AmazonFACE Model Intercomparison. The Science Plant growth is dependent on the availabi [more...]

Jul 29, 2019
A Slippery Slope: Soil Carbon Destabilization
Carbon gain or loss depends on the balance between competing biological, chemical, and physical reac [more...]

Jul 15, 2019
Field Evaluation of Gas Analyzers for Measuring Ecosystem Fluxes
How gas analyzer type and correction method impact measured fluxes. The Science A side- [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)